The Feud Between Bill Moyers and Morley Safer – Whom to Believe?

And, “Was I Another Target of Moyers’ Wrath?”

I never had much in common with the great broadcast journalist / 60 Minutes anchor Morley Safer, but for one single thing:  Evidently, we both got under the skin of Bill Moyers.  Safer did so publicly, and a wide audience eventually came to know all about it; on the other hand, I did so unwittingly, and so privately that nearly no one else even knew about it.  But we did it in similar ways, because we both endeavored to publish essential truths about Moyers, his relationship with, and various nefarious deeds done on behalf of, his boss, Lyndon B. Johnson, the 36th POTUS.

First, Who’s the More Believable / Credible Journalist: Moyers or Safer?

Moyers as Sir Lancelot
(From Texas Monthly,
November, 1989, p. 95)

This question is not merely a rhetorical exercise:  Should one need to decide – between these two famed journalists – whom to believe on anything about which they differed, the answer will depend upon that choice.  Thus there is no mutually exclusive, either/or option under which both could be considered believable and credible.   Consider first that Morley Safer’s career as a journalist came through a long, slow grind beginning as a reporter assigned to cover the Vietnam War; Moyers’ career began as a loyal servant to Lyndon Johnson, as examined below — originally brought to Washington to escort LBJ’s favorite mistress, making sure he delivered her to him according to his instructions. He “proved” his loyalty so well that, before age 30 he was the President’s highest level aide.

It is important to understand that the two were bitter enemies, as will be explained below.  Both of them considered themselves to be political liberals, therefore that point is not germane to answering the puzzle. One must start with an examination of the primary cause of their mutual animosity toward each other.

There may have been a number of events that caused their decades-long rift, but the one that Morley Safer cited as causing the most damage was described at length in my March 25, 2019 blog under the subtitle “The Vilification of Morley Safer” HERE.  Suffice it to say that for Mr. Safer to dedicate an entire chapter of his memoirs to it (Flashbacks – Chapter 12 titled “You Just Shat on the Flag,” another LBJ quote) “speaks volumes”:  He went to great lengths to describe the Marines’ 1965 attack on the villagers of Cam Ne (all of whom were either women and children or elderly men), and the Washington recriminations in such detail to get across how strongly he felt about Moyers’ intrinsic dishonesty. 

Morley Safer’s telling of this story is not only about how Bill Moyers assisted Lyndon Johnson in his attempt to get Morley fired from CBS News for his honest reportage of this event, but how he subsequently backpedaled and lied about it, actually denying that it even happened despite the fact that Safer got the story directly from the news executives who were in the middle of it, including the president of CBS, Frank Stanton, who had been summoned to Washington by LBJ for the very purpose of receiving LBJ’s wrath first-hand and from whom Safer had directly heard the story. The following excerpt is what Safer wrote about that encounter:[1]

On Telephone, LBJ screaming: “Frank, this is your president . . . Frank, you trying to fuck me?”

“[Johnson] described graphically how CBS and I, and by inference Stanton himself, had publicly desecrated the flag.  A few days later he summoned Stanton to the White House and in a small office off the Oval Office, with Bill Moyers, then his press secretary, continued the harangue. The meeting then took a much darker turn. Johnson threatened that, unless CBS got rid of me and ‘cleaned up its act,’ the White House would ‘go public’ with information about Safer’s ‘Communist ties.’  Johnson claimed that he and Moyers ‘had the goods’ on me as a result of an investigation launched by the FBI, the CIA, and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“In fact there was an investigation that produced nothing, except perhaps the fact that politically the Safers were an extremely conservative bunch. Johnson, with Moyers’s help, was simply bluffing.”

Safer explained how, in the ensuing weeks, the story became “the talk of Washington” at least among other reporters and the politicos on Capitol Hill even though he had missed out on hearing it personally since he continued reporting from Vietnam while his position was protected by Stanton and Fred Friendly, the president of CBS News. When Friendly later became a professor at Columbia University, Safer said that he even used it in his classes: “To this day . . . Friendly uses the Cam Ne story as a teaching device.  Weeks after the broadcast, in his typically overzealous way, he described Vietnam as “Morley Safer’s war.”[2]

How Bill Moyers Responded to Morley Safer’s 1990 Charges of a 25-year old Event

Moyers as 30 year-old LBJ Aide

If one believes Safer was a more credible journalist than Moyers, then one must presume that the latter – undoubtedly not for the first, nor the last time – brazenly lied in an interview he did with journalist Eric Alterman (September 1, 1991 shortly after Safer’s book was published), as “Moyers on Washington” in The Washington Post Magazine:[3]

Against everything about this story documented within the twelve pages of that chapter of Safer’s book, Moyers declares what has to be a major lie, as though his saying it would make it true (an artifice undoubtedly learned from his earliest years with Johnson), about Frank Stanton denying all of it, without citing anything to prove it — or if he did hedge, it was undoubtedly, in context, merely an attempt to avoid another confrontation with LBJ, a certain embarrassment of the President and an unforgivable sin.  

“Now wait a minute. Morley Safer was in Vietnam at the time this meeting was supposed to have taken place, so he is already quite removed from the story. I don’t remember being in any meeting with Frank Stanton when Morley Safer was discussed, and Stanton has said on the record [he did not stipulate which record] that he doesn’t remember it. So of the three people who were said to be there, two don’t remember it and the third person, Lyndon Johnson, is dead.“

Alterman’s interview with Moyers continued:

Q: Are you saying you don’t remember it, or are you saying it’s not true? [continuing the above colloquy about Moyers’ claim].

A: It’s not that I don’t remember it. Johnson never did it. In meetings alone with Lyndon Johnson, he said plenty of people, especially reporters, were communists. He railed and railed, and then the next day he’d forget it. Particularly Safer and Peter Arnett. They were right about Vietnam, and he was wrong. That was part of Johnson’s anguish.”

Evidently, Moyers was as naïve in 1991 as he was in 1965 if he really believed that Johnson actually “anguished” about Vietnam.[4]

Even before the Moyers’ interview, Safer had revealed in his 1990 book that Moyers had already contradicted himself through his own previous statements about the incident:

“On two occasions I asked him about it, and each time he laughed it off as just a fit of temper by the president [implicitly acknowledging to Safer the veracity of the story] and that he, Moyers, was the good guy trying to play peacemaker. 

“After the Cam Ne story, Murray Fromson, then a CBS News correspondent, was asked by New York [CBS’ HQ] to drop in on Moyers in Washington and to try to smooth the troubled relationship between CBS News and the White House. Fromson had become friendly with Moyers during the 1960 election campaign.  The meeting had hardly begun when Moyers snapped at Fromson:  ‘Why do you have to use foreigners to cover that war? A Canadian and a Vietnamese?’

“Such a remark can be dismissed as a bit of good soldiering by a servant loyal to the president in the candid heat of the moment.”

Morley Safer also used extraordinarily critical language to describe Moyers’ involvement with numerous other assorted instances of Lyndon Johnson’s and J. Edgar Hoover’s illegal acts, including the bugging of Martin Luther King Jr.’s hotel rooms and wiretapping his personal telephones as they snooped on his private life. Safer continued:

“I find it hard to believe that Bill Moyers would engage in character assassination over one brief evening news broadcast – even given the political imperatives of the moment.  But I confess, I find it harder not to believe it. His part in Lyndon Johnson and J. Edgar Hoover’s bugging of Martin Luther King’s private life, the leaks to the press and diplomatic corps, the surveillance of civil rights groups at the 1964 Democratic convention, and his request for damaging information from Hoover on members of the Goldwater campaign suggest that he was not only a good soldier but a gleeful retainer feeding the appetites of Lyndon Johnson. (Emphasis added by author).

 “Moyers, the sometimes overly pious public defender of liberal virtue, the First Amendment, and the rights of minorities, playing the role of Iago.” *

*Iago is a character in Shakespeare’s play Othello and was “one of Shakespeare’s most sinister villains, often considered such because of the unique trust that Othello places in him, which he betrays while maintaining his reputation of honesty and dedication.” —Wikipedia.

The Rest of the Backstory on Billy Don Moyers

In response to the question of whether Moyers circulated the FBI reports about Martin Luther King’s sex life, he told Alterman: [5]

Moyers: “I was a very flawed young man, with more energy than wisdom. But I have never in my life engaged in character assassination. Never in my life. And never, never, never did I disseminate any of Hoover’s information to journalists regarding King. I have said this under oath to the Judiciary Committee. I never, and to my knowledge, no one in the White House ever made public the information that Hoover sent us about King.

Alterman: The [David] Garrow book also alleges that during the 1964 Democratic convention, “DeLoach kept in almost continuous telephone contact with White House aides Bill Moyers and [Walter] Jenkins,” discussing the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party challenge to the party regulars. According to this account, you and Jenkins used this information to “greatly erode the MFDP’s support inside the crucial credentials committee.” So according to the FBI, they were bugging King’s hotel room, giving you the information, and you and Jenkins used it to achieve a victory for the anti-civil rights forces there. Is any of that true? Were you using Hoover’s wiretaps to screw the civil rights people there?

Moyers: I don’t think so. My memory of those events is not precise. For me to really answer that, I have to involve a man who is not around to defend himself. Johnson put me in charge of the convention. Hoover had told LBJ of threats to disrupt the convention with violence, and the president in turn asked Hoover to keep us informed of where those threats might erupt. They never materialized. I didn’t know there were wiretaps placed in King’s hotel. And I do not believe the FBI put a wiretap in King’s room at any time on the instructions of anyone in the White House, Johnson did not need Hoover to tell him that he was—as he said to Hubert Humphrey—”walking a goddam tightrope” between the Dixiecrats who wanted another walkout, threatening the president in his Southern base, and the civil rights movement he was determined to encourage. He feared Hoover would run to his right-wing friends with ammunition that the president wasn’t taking his warnings seriously about “communist” infiltration of King and the movement. We were doing our best to keep on good terms with the FBI. Dealing with J. Edgar Hoover was a complex and tricky process and we never knew what would happen with him. Were we temporizing? Yes. Were we frightened of J. Edgar Hoover like Kennedy was? Like Nixon was? Absolutely. We were scared to death of him. Just like Nixon said in those tapes: “Hoover could bring us all down.” Johnson felt that way. Johnson didn’t know what Hoover could have printed about him. He didn’t. But did we ever do in Martin Luther King as a result of this information? Not at all. We received him in the White House. We honored him. We made compromises. absolutely. We wanted to hold the South against Goldwater. But not at the price of ruining King or destroying the civil rights movement. Look, whose side ultimately prevailed and on whose side were we? J. Edgar Hoover or Martin Luther King’s? Who won? Martin won in 1965. We won the civil rights battles of the ’60s. We lost the political war. The Democratic Party of my youth was the party of “nigger, nigger, nigger.” We cost the Democratic Party the opportunity to demagogue the issue of race forever. And I am damn proud of that.

Moyers’ use of linguistic techniques, including such non-sequiturs as “I never, and to my knowledge, no one in the White House ever made public the information that Hoover sent us about King” has helped establish himself as one of the world’s best public speaker-prevaricators, able to duck an issue that has become a Washington legend:  That between him, LBJ himself and FBI Assistant Director “Deke” DeLoach, they were offering copies of transcripts and even letting many people, including journalists, hear the tapes themselves. (Emphasis added by author):

  • LBJ himself played them for his Texas friends; one of whom, Ben Barnes, acknowledged that in his memoirs.[6]  
  • Benjamin Bradlee, editor of the Washington Post, said that he had been offered all of the transcripts but stated that he had declined them because he found all of it to be “offensive.” Bradlee went further, stating that “they showed them to plenty of people. They showed them to Gene Patterson when he was editor of the Atlanta Constitution.”[7]  
  • Robert Sherrill, author of The Accidental President, writing contemporaneously in 1967, said that Bill Moyers had “expressly approved” circulating, within the executive branch, a secret FBI report intended to discredit Dr. Martin Luther King.[8]
  • An entire section of the FBI report was devoted to the details of King’s personal life and sexual preferences, according to a Senate Intelligence Committee report in 1976. Moyers admitted under questioning that he understood that the FBI reports dealt with personal information, that he never questioned the propriety of it, that he never considered it inappropriate, and that neither did anyone else in the White House. As the New York Times later reported, “Johnson found gossip about other men’s weaknesses a delicious hiatus from work.”[9]
  • It is interesting that a decade later, Moyers admitted that some of the taping the FBI did on behalf of Johnson was excessive, but it took even longer for him to admit that they were constitutional violations.  He has never been held to account for his own actions, nor was Johnson ever held to account for his abuse of illegal bugs and wiretapping, as eventually happened to Richard Nixon under much less egregious circumstances.

Moyers’ suggestion that “we were scared to death of Hoover” is absurd, at least as it pertained to Lyndon Johnson, who of course was the senior partner of their own private criminal enterprise.  Of course, everyone else in Washington was scared of Hoover, but not more so than they were of Johnson.  And yes, “Martin won in 1965” but that did not do him any good thereafter, certainly not in 1968.  And for him to be so “damn proud” of costing “the Democratic Party the opportunity to demagogue the issue of race forever” is arguably the most hypocritical misstatement in the entire interview.

About Bill Moyers

Bill Moyers Posturing

Hugo, Oklahoma native Billy Don Moyers’ (his given name, not a nick-name)[10] attempt to portray himself as an intrepid journalist/political commentator has all the appearances of being a product of a Madison Avenue marketing campaign, including the obligatory designer-stylized logo: 

Moyers’ first stint working for Lyndon Johnson came in 1954, when he was twenty years old and a sophomore at North Texas State University. His first mentor, Millard Cope, a newspaper publisher in Marshall, Texas, urged him to write a letter to Lyndon Johnson, volunteering to work for him as a summer intern.[11]  Clearly, Johnson saw in him the characteristics – boiled down to unequivocal loyalty and devotion to himself – he had looked for in all of the many Texans he recruited to work for him in Washington.  It was not until over a decade later, when Moyers showed signs of slippage in that regard (such as naming his first son, William Cope Moyers after his first mentor instead of LBJ, and – even worse than that – when Bill became friendly with Robert F. Kennedy), that Johnson came to distrust Moyers. 

According to Sarah McClendon, a famed White House news reporter for fifty years, Lyndon Johnson brought Bill Moyers back to Washington in 1958 to provide “cover” for a persistent rumor regarding Johnson’s relationship to his highest level, most attractive secretary, Mary Margaret Wiley.  McClendon, in her book Mr. President, Mr. President!, stated that Johnson hired Moyers into a position that was primarily to serve as a “beard” – to escort Ms. Wiley around in public, but to make sure she was available to him in the after-hours.[12]    

In 1962 – around the same time that Johnson arranged for his other mistress, Madeleine Brown, to marry Charles H. West, a homosexual friend[13] – suddenly it was announced that Miss Wiley would marry forty-four year old Jack Valenti, one of Johnson’s highest level aides, whom many had long suspected was a closeted homosexual. 

In both cases it appeared to be a sudden attempt to put distance between Johnson and his mistresses: later, in retrospect, it could be said that both actions appeared to come in advance of events that would propel him into the White House. 

Harry Provence, publisher of the Waco Tribune, wrote that Johnson “regretted losing Mary Margaret Wiley, who left his staff to become Mrs. Jack Valenti of Houston” and that “The relationship between the Johnsons and the Valentis is a close, warm one . . . Johnson’s staff knew he was awaiting with eager interest the news that Mrs. Valenti had borne her first child.”  That could only have been because he knew the child would be his own; furthermore, Johnson would not have “regretted” losing Miss Wiley at all, for, as Ronald Kessler wrote in his book In the President’s Secret Service, one of the ladies on his staff had gotten the permission of her husband to continue having sex with Johnson — undoubtedly he was referring to Mary Margaret, who had become Mrs Jack Valenti.

Provence also wrote in his 1964 biography (the first one of LBJ) that Johnson had hired Bill Moyers in 1958, and described his function as “personal assistant”[14] And we know from Ms. McClendon’s book that he performed such functions as handling “policy concerning religion and to answer letters that had a religious tone.” It would seem to suggest that, in hiring Moyers, Johnson had hired his own personal preacher, from whom he could expect dispensation for his sins.[15]  

Moyers obviously handled his duties very effectively, as he managed to rise to become the highest White House official under the President by 1965. In an October 29, 1965, cover story, “The Administration: LBJ.’s Young Man in Charge of Everything,” Time magazine effusively reported on the rise of Bill Moyers as Johnson’s right-hand man:

The President one day will call him ‘my vice president in charge of anything’; the next, he will say Bill is ‘in charge of everything.’ Some White House watchers go so far as to rate him the No. 2 man in the entire Administration—over such Cabinet members as McNamara— on the assumption that keeping LBJ running smoothly is every bit as vital a task as running the Pentagon.

Later in the article, Moyers allowed that “‘All that I am, I owe to him.’”

Moyers’ stridently-delivered, sermonizing delivery style of leftmost-liberal, Democratic talking points – as  unequivocal, unnuanced and self-righteous as those from the far right (actually, anywhere from middle to right-of-center), which he has thrashed for five decades – seem to many people to be a defense of his, and his mentor LBJ’s, highly-checkered and criminally-tainted White House tenure, not nearly as commendable as he would have everyone believe.  I have commented here, and here, about Bill Moyers’ career “Post-LBJ” which is all about defending Lyndon Johnson personally and the Johnson Administration generally, as though he had pledged his undying loyalty to his master.

Consider a few of the real “Hallmarks” of Moyers’ career:

  • It was Bill Moyers who ordered the Secret Service to remove the “bubble-top” from JFK’s limousine just before the motorcade, even before the weather had cleared.  This point was validated by the House Select Committee on Assassinations in 1977-79 (HSCA):   

“Bill Moyers had been on the phone to [his aide, who was on the scene, Ms. Betty] Harris, informing her that the President did not want the bubble top. He told Harris to ‘get that God-damned bubble off unless it’s pouring rain.’ Shortly thereafter the weather began to clear. Ms. Harris approached [Secret Service Agent Forrest] Sorrels about the bubble-top and together they had the special agents remove the glass top.” (Emphasis added by author).

The use of such gratuitous profanity by an ordained Baptist minister is a little odd in the context of this situation, considering that it had been raining all morning.  Thus, it begs the question of whether Moyers was the real initiator of the request, or whether he was simply passing on a demand from his boss, LBJ, known to be habitually profane and strident in practically all situations (a general exception existed whenever cameras were near, of course, in which case a broad smile replaced his scornful gaze). All things considered, it can be assumed that Moyers was merely parroting words originally screamed by Lyndon B. Johnson, in comparable stridency).[16]

  • As noted above, Moyers was originally recruited by LBJ in 1958 to become a “beard” to accompany Johnson’s mistress, Mary Margaret Wily, around town,[17] but soon became one of LBJ’s favorite aides, clearly because of characteristics that can only be described as sycophantic, a trait that was common among his aides.  Both Moyers and Jack Valenti would accompany Johnson on the 11/22/63 flight back to Washington and thereafter both would become his highest-level, most trusted aides, meaning they both knew “where the bodies were buried,” as the saying about secrets goes.  
  • Johnson liked to recruit Texans to come to Washington, rather than hiring aides from the Washington area – or anywhere else – because he knew they would be much more dependent upon him, thus more submissive to his guidance.  Along with Moyers were Horace Busby, Walter Jenkins, Jake Pickle, Marvin Watson, George Reedy, Cliff Carter and Malcolm Wallace, among the dozens of other aides imported from Texas.  Moyers, the highest-level of all of them from 1964 to 1966, probably knew all about the less noble, behind-the-scenes acts (although the “black bag” – and worse, “wet job” – activities that Johnson assigned to Carter and Wallace were undoubtedly compartmentalized).  But that might explain why he has become so reticent about publishing his “memoirs” as he once promised to do, to the point that it may be presumptively concluded he has no intention to ever do that.[18]
  • Moyers, and fellow-aide Richard Goodwin, became so concerned about President Lyndon Johnson’s psychotic behavior that they independently consulted psychiatrists to discuss those concerns.  Had it not been for Goodwin’s exposure of that fact in his 1988 book Remembering America, it is unlikely that this very stunning news would have ever been reported, since Moyers – to the extent he discusses his White House years at all – only mentions what he believes were the “good” news stories of that era (which many, more objective people consider as LBJ’s reign of terror).  It should be noted that, a decade after Goodwin’s book was published, Moyers did retell that story to Robert Dallek for his book Failed Giant, but for reasons unknown, has consistently refused to discuss any of it with the more acclaimed and revelatory author Robert Caro (whose own significant limitations were noted here, here and here).
  • Moyers was the creator of the infamous “Daisy Ad” (see here) – a televised 1964 commercial that became known as the most hideous “negative” political campaign advertisement in history:  It showed a young girl plucking petals from a daisy while a countdown played in the background, finishing off with a nuclear blast that turned into a mushroom cloud.  Intended to portray Barry Goldwater as a out-of-control warmonger, it implicitly (and, brazenly incorrectly, as it soon became apparent) painted Lyndon Johnson as a peace-seeking, diplomatic personage of restraint and quiet understatement.
  • Moyers (along with Jack Valenti) spearheaded the 2003 ambush of The History Channel’s plans to ever rebroadcast “The Guilty Men” (Episode 9) of the series The Men Who Killed Kennedy starring LBJ.* It is this point that lends great credibility to my own inferences about Moyers’ role in impeding sales of my own books, as examined below.

*Though it cannot be broadcast any longer as a result of their savage attack — which so traumatized Nigel Turner, the creator of that series, that he returned to the U.K. to become a recluse — all nine videos can still be viewed on YouTube and other venues. The series is still available for purchase, thanks to the First Amendment of the Constitution, without which it would only be recalled by memory for those who happened to watch it in 2003.

About Morley Safer

The late Morley Safer was an “old school” journalist whose impeccable credentials were never questioned, with the single exception of the brutal attack mounted by Lyndon B. Johnson and Bill Moyers. 

Morley Safer

Safer was described by Jeff Fager, executive producer of 60 Minutes thusly: “Morley has had a brilliant career as a reporter and as one of the most significant figures in CBS News history, on our broadcast and in many of our lives. Morley’s curiosity, his sense of adventure and his superb writing, all made for exceptional work done by a remarkable man.”

Leslie Moonves, CBS Chairman and CEO eulogized Safer in 2016: “Morley was one of the most important journalists in any medium, ever. He broke ground in war reporting and made a name that will forever be synonymous with 60 Minutes. He was also a gentleman, a scholar, a great raconteur — all of those things and much more to generations of colleagues, his legion of friends, and his family, to whom all of us at CBS offer our sincerest condolences over the loss of one of CBS’ and journalism’s greatest treasures.”[19] 

His non-combative, easygoing style, professionalism and life-long honorable conduct require no further elucidation.  But it is noteworthy to observe that it never occurred to Morley Safer to acquire a designer logo to market his credentials to the public. 

Bill Moyers Paraphrased: “LBJ was the Godfather of the Modern-Day Deep State”

Among the many other tidbits in the 1989 Alterman interview with Moyers was this gem:

Alterman: [The] conventional wisdom in Washington today is that it was you liberals who destroyed the fabric of middle-class values—hard work and deferred gratification—by creating a welfare state that punished initiative and rewarded laziness.

Moyers: It’s a cheap shot to lay these failures on the backs of the poor, as if our efforts to help them—failed as many of them were— created these problems. The poor had nothing to do with the creation of the secret government . . .”

Within that response Moyers cleverly sidestepped the point, as posited by Alterman, that it was “you liberals,” not the “poor,” who caused the destruction of “middle-class values.” In doing that, he is implicitly asserting that the only solution to fixing poverty is through the creation of a welfare state, and that required “the creation of the secret government” (a.k.a. the “invisible government” or as it is now more commonly known, the “Deep State”).

One need not have to understand the finer points of libertarian theory, as espoused by economist-philosophers Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard, to realize that there are many, less autocratic, alternatives to his own knee-jerk “leftist revolt against nature” presumptuous opinions. Clearly, his misunderstandings of the human condition are the result of his having no grounding in any knowledge of economics whatsoever.

But far more importantly, it is fascinating that the first item, among several others that Moyers then listed, was clearly something he instinctively knew was born — if not conceived, it was certainly brought to life — by none other than his former boss, Lyndon B. Johnson (though LBJ’s mentor FDR, and his successor HST certainly left assorted exemplars for him to follow in that creation).[20]

Thus can it be stipulated that, by his own admission – wittingly or not – Bill Moyers has gone on record as admitting that LBJ was indeed the “Godfather of the Deep State” (a.k.a. “secret”, “shadow” or “invisible” government).  For the legions of people who insist that it was the “National Security State” (another synonym for the same thing), Moyers confirmed that Johnson was its creator and was the person in charge of that entity and operating as its CEO even before it preempted the existing component organizations (e.g. the CIA, NSA, CFR [Council on Foreign Relations], the many sub-entities called the MSM, the Bilderberg Group  and Trilateral Commission, et. al.).  Moyers, of course, has long been connected directly, and/or vicariously, to all of those entities.

Like the Trilateral Commission, the Bilderberg Group is similarly composed of divergent sub-groups, as this short excerpt from a recent essay on this subject reveals:[21]

Always well represented are top figures from the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), IMF, World Bank, Trilateral Commission, EU, and powerful central bankers from the Federal Reserve, the ECB’s Jean-Claude Trichet, and Bank of England’s Mervyn King.

For over half a century, no agenda or discussion topics became public nor is any press coverage allowed. The few invited fourth estate attendees and their bosses are sworn to secrecy. [ . . .]

Whatever its early mission, the Group is now “a shadow world government . . . threaten(ing) to take away our right to direct our own destinies (by creating) a disturbing reality” very much harming the public’s welfare. In short, Bilderbergers want to supplant individual nation-state sovereignty with an all-powerful global government, corporate controlled, and check-mated by militarized enforcement.  “Imagine a private club where presidents, prime ministers, international bankers and generals rub shoulders, where gracious royal chaperones ensure everyone gets along, and where the people running the wars, markets, and Europe (and America) say what they never dare say in public.”

Why I Believe that Bill Moyers Personally Sabotaged My Books (Among Others)

As noted in the “Testimonials” page of this blog, two prominent literary journals (Publishers Weekly Review and Booklist Review) favorably reviewed my first book, LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination.  And that was the primary reason the book reached “bestseller” status for many weeks when it was first published.  It must have caused Billy Don Moyers and his colleagues great angst that such a book could make it through not only the book publishing world – almost totally controlled by them (with few exceptions, including Skyhorse and TrineDay, publishers of my books) – but it also got past those two journals, the “bibles” of librarians and bookstore managers the world over.  Which begs the question: How would the first work of an unknown author be reviewed by these prestigious publications, but not three more successive books by that same, now established, author? 

Without those reviews, the first of my books would have never made best-seller status.   How do I know that? The answer is that it was precisely what happened with my other books.  In fact, none of my subsequent books – not LBJ From Mastermind to the Colossus (2014); not Remember the Liberty (2017); not Who Really Killed Martin Luther King Jr.? (2018) – were ever reviewed by those journals, or any other such literary journal for that matter.  The fact that none of the follow up books sold nearly as much as the first book was no coincidence, it was preordained, since they would never be noticed by buyers for bookstores and libraries; because very few libraries and bookstores bought those books, they only achieved some limited success through “word of mouth” on-line sales, primarily Amazon.   

Obviously, the “LBJ – The Mastermind” book provoked someone to take steps to limit the sales of that book (among other things, booking me for a major radio interview for the purpose of dissing the book, with a follow-on interview with Gary Mack, then the head of the Sixth Floor Museum and a “turncoat” — former “conspiracy theorist”), but even more importantly, to ensure any future books by me would never be reviewed by them. And Bill Moyers, more than any other person, had the motive, means and opportunity to sabotage the sales of those books; after all, he had led the charge to do the same thing with the History Channel’s rebroadcasts of The Guilty Men, along with the two other 2003 films in the series The Men Who Killed Kennedy.  And it wasn’t just my inference that this “might have” occurred, because I know exactly how my book came to his attention soon after it was published.

Within three weeks after the Skyhorse edition was published, November 22, 2011, I received a telephone call from a very well-connected man from the upper-east side of New York, who prefers to remain anonymous.  He had read the book as soon as it became available and subsequently purchased fifty (50) more copies of it as holiday gifts for his closest friends.  We talked again on several occasions in the following weeks and months –- and we still correspond, albeit irregularly.

It quickly became apparent that some of his friends were also among the consiglieri who are also well connected to what author/blogster David Martin (a.k.a. DCDave)[22] calls the “NOMA” – the national opinion molding apparatus that controls the “GAME,” the government, academia, the media, and the entertainment bureaucracies and/or industries.  In other words, people who control all of the major elements of the “Deep State.”  In my correspondent’s case, some of those friends are prominent people who work within the “journalistic” community of New York City (“All the news that’s fit to print” should be adjusted to put “politically-correct” in front of “fit”).

Billy Don Moyers as Iago

A few weeks after that first telephone conversation he called again, to inform me that the previous evening he ran into Bill Moyers at a cocktail party.  He told me that, while engaging Moyers in casual conversation, he mentioned having read my book and, after asking Moyers if he had heard of it and getting “no” for an answer, he gave him a short synopsis of it, suggesting that he may want to read it, because he thought Bill, as he himself had, might enjoy it as a good read. 

But Moyers’ reaction, spat out as he turned on his heels to walk away, said otherwise: “Well, that case was solved forty-seven (47) years ago!”  He must have been referring to the Warren Commission Report, done in 1964, which of course has been dissected numerous times and found, over and again, to be a pack of lies and disinformation, a truly unfounded “conspiracy theory” citing non-credible witnesses while ignoring credible witnesses, built upon a foundation of false and/or misleading FBI reports.[23]  

It is my firm belief that my correspondent’s encounter with Bill Moyers had stunned Moyers, causing his rather rude sudden departure from the scene.  I have nothing to prove the assertion that Moyers was responsible for what happened, except for the fact that someone obviously took that action.  What else might have caused two of the most prominent literary journals to review the first work of an unknown author, giving it fair treatment, yet then ignoring – not even writing a single positive, neutral or critical word about – every other book subsequently published by that same author?  

It was no coincidence that my name was put on the blacklist – an act that could only have been done by relatively few key individuals – and, presuming the reasoned inference that Moyers was directly responsible for it is true, then what Morley Safer said about Moyers being “the overly pious public defender of liberal virtue . . . playing the role of Iago” has been reproved, and that, combined with Hunter S. Thompson’s 11/22/1963 epiphany (see here), specifically his descriptions of what the future held regarding “the Nazification of publishing houses” puts Moyers into rare company indeed.  


[1] Safer, Morley, Flashbacks: On Returning to Vietnam, New York: Random House, 1990, p. 94

[2] Ibid., p. 96

[3] Alterman, Eric, “Moyers on Washington” Washington Post Magazine, September 1, 1991, p. 23 (See

[4] As Colonel John Downie, a CIA briefer, admitted in his last session with Johnson in 1966, after he had repeatedly “urged him to get out of Vietnam, a frustrated LBJ pounded the table and exclaimed, ‘I cannot get out of Vietnam, John, my friends are making too much money.’” (See Pepper, The Plot to Kill King… p. xxxiv.)

[5] Op. Cit. (Alterman, p. 28)

[6] Barnes, Ben, with Lisa Dickey. Barn Burning Barn Building. Albany, Texas: Bright Sky Press, 2006, p. 108

[7] Demaris, Ovid. The Director: An Oral Biography of J. Edgar Hoover, 1975. p. 198

[8] Sherrill, Robert. The Accidental President, 1968. p. 42.

[9] Lasky, Victor, It Didn’t Start with Watergate, 1977. pp. 196–198.

[10] Wikipedia, Bill Moyers page.

[11] Swartz, Mimi, “Bill Moyers: From Small-Town Texan to TV Superhero,” Texas Monthly, September, 1989,  p. 211

[12] McClendon, Sarah and Jules Minton, Mr President, Mr. President!: My Fifty Years of

Covering the White House, pp. 92-93; Provence, Harry. Lyndon B. Johnson: A Biography, p. 168

[13] Brown, Madeleine, Texas in the Morning, p. 140

[14] Provence, Harry, Lyndon B. Johnson: A Biography. New York: Fleet Publishing, 1964, p. 168

[16] Op. cit. (McClendon), pp. 92-93

[16] Nelson, LBJ: The Mastermind of the JFK Assassination, p. 393

[17] Op. cit. (McClendon), p. 168

[18] Op. Cit (Ref E/N #3), p. 141

[19] Wikipedia, Morley Safer page.

[20] While there were numerous instances of its beginning in FDR’s administration (e.g. the 1937 cover-up of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance at the hands of the Japanese military – see Mike Campbell, Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last – and in provoking Japan to attack Pearl Harbor – see Robert Stinnett, Day of Deceit, among others) and more under the Truman administration (among others, the murder/cover-up of James Forrestal – see David Martin, The Assassination of James Forrestal), the warning of Eisenhower of the dangers posed by the “military-industrial complex” was heeded only by JFK.  That phrase originally included “congressional,” a clear reference to LBJ, the “master” of the senate.  Until he became president, the Deep State was in its nascent phase but it came into being during the period of his vice presidency and became a permanent fixture on November 22, 1963 with the need to ensure the secrets of the successful military coup d’état were never revealed.

[21] See “The True Story of the Bilderberg Group” and What They May Be Planning Now: A Review of Daniel Estulin’s book

[22] See, various essays.

[23] See Gerald McKnight, Breach of Trust, among others.

13 thoughts on “The Feud Between Bill Moyers and Morley Safer – Whom to Believe?

  1. I have no doubt that Moyers worked to sabotage the sales of Phil’s books starting with Mastermind. But, I’ll point out that if Moyer hadn’t done it, the Deep State would have gotten someone else to do it. And I am experiencing the same thing right now with my anti-war movie, My Stretch of Texas Ground which condemns the U.S. government for its monstrous post-9/11 wars which have killed millions. On Amazon, right away, the 1 star reviews started piling up right away, usually saying very little, just a few words, but getting that 1 star review in there. And often, these 1 star reviews made blatantly false accusations against the film, which I pointed out in my replies. Books like Phil’s and a movie like mine are always going to be targeted because we are “enemies of the state.”

    And here’s something else pertaining to Moyers that I want Phil to know. Through extensive research, that Jim Fetzer and Larry Rivera will confirm, I and others have established beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jack Ruby did NOT shoot Oswald. The Garage Spectacle was a theater production in which FBI Agent James Bookhout starred as Jack Ruby. Ruby got to the garage early- an hour earlier, and he was pounced upon and hustled up to the 5th floor. He was stripped to his underwear (which is in the official record) and it was to give his suit to Bookhout to wear during the show. Oswald went along with it. He wasn’t shot in the garage but afterwards. But, where did the idea come from? There is no way the Dallas Police thought to do this themselves. The idea had to come from the Commander in Chief, from LBJ. He must have told them: the country needs closure; the Kennedy family needs justice; the country will collapse if you don’t do it,; there might be nuclear war with the Soviets, etc. But, who conveyed that to them? LBJ may have gotten on the phone with Fritz, but it’s likely that the one who did most of the talking was Moyers because he was Johnson’s attache’ with the Dallas Police all along. What did Phil say in Mastermind? That Moyers was on the phone with Fritz 13x on Friday afternoon? Something like that. So, when Moyers gets around to writing his memoirs, he needs to cough it up about the murder of Oswald as well.


    1. Ralph, please cite the “official record” you mentioned above, regarding Ruby’s being taken up to the 5th floor and stripped to his underwear. And if that is so, why didn’t he ever speak out about all of that, and instead, even acknowledged that he was the shooter, claiming “he did it for Jackie?” And, no I didn’t claim that Moyers was the one who “was on the phone with Fritz 13x.” I did state that Cliff Carter made a number of calls to both Fritz and Henry Wade, possibly others.


  2. Oh, so it was Cliff Carter who made a number of calls to both Fritz and Henry Wade. That Ruby was stripped to his underwear has been widely reported. It’s in Vincent Bugliosi’s Reclaiming History. And then they reportedly took his underwear. It’s on his property invoice from the DPD that they confiscated “1 set underwear.” Phil, I recently made a video about Jack Ruby’s innocence which you should watch. The bulwark of it is that the images of the Garage Shooter are not a match to Jack Ruby. And we know who it was masquerading as Ruby at the Garage Spectacle: FBI Agent James Bookhout. A tremendous amount of work has been done on this by me, Amy Joyce, and one other researcher whom I can’t name because he needs to stay off the grid. But, I will tell you that he is very accomplished and has the training and work experience to do this investigative work. I hope you will watch that video because it includes images and image comparisons.


  3. Pingback: Globeinfolive

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s